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Help! Need advice for Yellowstone - Cody - Beartooth Hwy Tri

Hawaii
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Help! Need advice for Yellowstone - Cody - Beartooth Hwy Tri

We are spending 12 days in the Yellowstone area this July. There will be 4 of us, which includes a 7 and 11 year old. So far, this is what I've got:

Day 1-3: Arrive Salt Lake City, stay 3 nights

Day 4: Drive up to Jackson, stay 1 night

Day 5-8: Tour Grand Tetons in early morning, head up towards Yellowstone - stay 3 nights at Mammoth Hot Springs. Tour Yellowstone the next couple of days.

Day 9-10: Drive over Beartooth Hwy towards Cody. Since it will take all day to get there, spend next day touring Cody. Spend total of 2 nights in Cody.

Day 11: Looking to spend one night somewhere between Cody and Salt Lake City. Would like to go back to Salt Lake City via Idaho so that we can drive by Lava Hot Springs.

Day 12: Last night in Salt Lake City before early morning flight.

I'm wondering if the drive from Mammoth to Cody will be too long? Should we stop overnight at Red Lodge?

We are kind of stuck for the first half of our trip, since we have already booked accommodations in SLC, Jackson and Mammoth. The rest of the trip is unbooked. I would appreciate any comments you have regarding this itinerary and any suggestions!

Thanks a lot!

alabama
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1. Re: Help! Need advice for Yellowstone - Cody - Beartooth Hwy Tri

first, if you are staying 3 nights in slc you must have some plans there. i would go out to the park city area one day. main street is pretty neat.

you are only staying one night in jackson. i would probably stay there my next to last night. jackson is a great town with lots to do. i'd find a place right around the square (sundance inn is my favorite). the kids might enjoy the nightly "shootout" on the square. you could drive back to slc in about a 4 hours the next day & you have a couple of options on which way you want to go. very scenic drive.

i would also spend more than a half day in the grand tetons. that's a beautiful area with lots to do. some options are to take the boat ride across jenny lake & do the short hike up to inspiration point/hidden falls. you can also walk around the lake if you don't want to spend the $8/pp. visit jackson lake lodge & look for wildlife off the back deck. there are some nice hikes in the colter bay area where you might see wildlife too. the kids might enjoy one of the chuckwagon meals & there is a good one at dornans at moose junction, just outside grand teton national park. dornans is a great area to have dinner on the deck if you don't do the chuckwagon, overlooking the snake river, & watching the sunset. it's very informal & the kids would enjoy that area too.

the drive from mammouth to cody isn't bad at all. did it last year in a few hours if your plans are to take the chief joseph scenic highway. you could even go part of the way on the beartooth pass & then backtrack to the chief joseph. since you are going to spend 2 days in cody i wouldn't be in too big a hurry to get there your first day. make sure you take in the rodeo, the buffalo bill museum, the irma hotel, & look for bargains at the sierra trading post outlet.

Atlanta, Georgia
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2. Re: Help! Need advice for Yellowstone - Cody - Beartooth Hwy Tri

If you have already made reservations for the first part of the trip then I would go to Cody and come back through Jackson and spend some more time in GT and Jackson. One night is not enough time. It is only 5 hours to SLC from Jackson if you go through Wyoming. You need to go ahead and make your other reservations. July and August are the busiest times in YNP and GT.

Wyoming & Sanibel
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3. Re: Help! Need advice for Yellowstone - Cody - Beartooth Hwy Tri

You are fortunate to already have your reservations in Mammoth, keep checking with Xanterra, as there are frequent cancellations. You may find a night or two in a more central park location, such as Canyon or Old Faithful.

I agree with others that when you are done with your vacation, you will likely look back and regret so much time in Salt Lake City and so little time in the Tetons and Yellowstone. But if you cannot change your reservations there without losing money, then just make the best of it! Regardless, you will have a wonderful visit.

Anchorage, Alaska
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4. Re: Help! Need advice for Yellowstone - Cody - Beartooth Hwy Tri

Aloha and great to see you again,

I replied to your PM and gave you all the details there and I will recap here for the others.

I think that taking a full day to explore the drive between Mammoth and Cody via both Beartooth Pass and Chief Joseph Pass will provide a stunning and scenic experience. Also driving to Red Lodge you will really appreciate the impact of this pass as well as having an hour or two in Red Lodge will prove to be a nice break from the wilderness.

Now I agree with the others that having a full day in Cody allows time to hit the Buffalo Bill Museum, Sierra Trading Post, white water raft, and the rodeo. So two nights would be about right and allow for a nice dinner at one of Cody's finer resturants.

As far as which route for returning to SLC, I think you owe it to yourselves to return to Jackson for the last night (about a 3-4 hour drive from Cody) as this will allow you to enjoy driving along Yellowstone Lake and West Thumb before going through Grand Teton in the afternoon. Be sure to drive through the Jenny Lake area and if time permits take the shuttle boat across the lake. If you are into fine dining, Jackson has many excellent resturants and eatery's. There is also a nightly street shoot out at the twon square.

From Jackson, I would head down to Alpine, Wy and cut over to Soda Springs, ID and then to Lava Hot Springs before connecting to the interstate for the 2 hour drive to SLC.

Let me know if you an questions.

Safe travels,

- Kery

Hawaii
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5. Re: Help! Need advice for Yellowstone - Cody - Beartooth Hwy Tri

Thanks so much for all of your advice! I feel a great sense of relief having some kind of direction, but may have to look at my night in Jackson and Salt Lake city again. I could only get one night in Jackson at the Homewood Suites (we can get an employee rate there - although even the regular rates were sold out), but I would like to spend another night in the area. I'll try to see if I can adjust my trip to spend a little longer in Jackson. I have a few nights left "unbooked" so just have to sit down and look at everything again. I might be able to trade a night from Salt Lake to Jackson. It sounds silly, but we are from a very small town, so the city always holds some interest to us before heading out to the parks! :)

I do feel a great sense of urgency, all the accommodations in the park have been filling up every day that I check. I will take your advice for checking out cancellations, though.

What about the drive from Grand Tetons to Mammoth? Is that also reasonable? Would we have time to check out any of the lower loop during that drive?

Thanks again for all your advice!

Fly's&Foto's - I also got your message - Mahalo!

alabama
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6. Re: Help! Need advice for Yellowstone - Cody - Beartooth Hwy Tri

the drive from the grand tetons to mammoth hot springs is approximately 80 miles. i'd allow about 3 hours if you take the western loop & plan on stopping for photos & such.

here's a link to some jackson hotels. i know the sundance & wagon wheel still had rooms last week for july. not sure about your days though.

www.jacksonholenet.com

Hawaii
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7. Re: Help! Need advice for Yellowstone - Cody - Beartooth Hwy Tri

I didn't realize it was only 80 miles between the Tetons and Mammoth. I realize there is traffic and site-seeing along the way, but for some reason I was thinking that it is much further. I'll check out the link for the Jackson hotels - thanks!

alabama
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8. Re: Help! Need advice for Yellowstone - Cody - Beartooth Hwy Tri

my bad...i was thinking about the south entrance to mammoth. from the tetons it's about 110 miles.

Hawaii
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9. Re: Help! Need advice for Yellowstone - Cody - Beartooth Hwy Tri

Ok, thank you everyone!! I finally booked the rest of our reservations tonight. This is how we have changed it.

Day 1-3 Salt Lake City (3 nts)

Day 4 Jackson (1 nt)

Day 5-7 Mammoth Hot Springs Cabins (3 nts)

Day 8-9 Cody (drive via Beartooth Hwy) (2 nts)

Day 10 - 11 Grand Tetons Coulter Village Cabins (2 nts)

Day 12 Salt Lake City (1 nt)

Thank you! I feel so much better now that we are all booked and we will also have more time in the Tetons, which sounded like a must spend more time place! I guess that gives us a little over a week to spend around Yellowstone, Cody and the Tetons. I am so excited for our trip. Now we just have to wait until it gets here. Thanks again for your suggestions around Salt lake, Yellowstone, Tetons and Cody!

West Yellowstone, MT
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10. Re: Help! Need advice for Yellowstone - Cody - Beartooth Hwy Tri

tree4-

You will want to look at this map about the Beartooth Highway. There are two highways - the Beartooth between Cooke City and Red Loge and the Chief Joseph Highwway which comes off the Beartooth (north of Cooke City) and goes to Cody.

This map which shows the Beartooth in relation to Highway 296 (also called the Chief Joseph Highway).

byways.org/explore/byways/2281/travel.html